Both in Finland and internationally, the establishment of new businesses and jobs relies mainly on two factors. The first is the availability of competent employees. The second is constituted by research, development and innovation (RDI).
RDI at Xamk focuses on four main areas: Sustainable wellbeing; Digital economy; Logistics, marine technology and transport; and Forest, the environment and energy.
Our RDI activities particularly aim to resolve development bottlenecks of businesses and employment in our region but also problems that are recognised as significant in society. What is essential is the practical application of the results of our RDI activities, so that they can help companies to be more successful.
RDI activities, inventions and investments in 2019
RDI activities at XAMK increased in accordance with the targets for the fifth year in a row. In 2019, the amount of external research funding exceeded EUR 15 million for the first time.
In 2019, we had 259 ongoing development projects with 380 experts from different fields of business working on them, with a contribution totalling 267 person-years.
The most important RDI investment was the EUR 2.5 million laboratory built in Savonlinna, specialising in researching the vegetative reproduction of saplings. The laboratory is used jointly by the Natural Resources Institute Finland present on campus and the researchers at the Xamk Fibre Laboratory.
In 2019, Xamk employees submitted five notifications of invention. The invention ‘An action space defining object for computer aided design’, patented in Finland and Europe, was granted a patent also in the United States. This innovation is already in use in practical construction planning.
Nearly 700 partner companies and new startups
Nearly 700 partner companies are engaged in the development work carried out by Xamk. They include large technology export companies as well as microenterprises and SMEs representing different fields of business. The towns, municipalities and third sector players in our region are also important partners for us.
The regional importance of RDI activities can be illustrated by Xamk’s total expenditure on RDI. In 2019, it totalled nearly EUR 25 million. This amount is not much lower than the combined annual research investment made by all companies in the Kymenlaakso and South Savo regions.
RDI projects also create, directly or indirectly, new business activities. According to the statistics, 58 new business IDs were registered in the region. The number of startups and the monitoring of their life cycle will be given more weight in the RDI effectiveness model.
We communicate our activities and achievements
We aim to actively communicate our RDI activities and their results to the public. In 2019, Xamk earned a record number of publication points in accordance with the publication classification of the Ministry of Education and Culture. The media visibility of our RDI projects also increased.
In 2019, Xamk published four issues of the Read online magazine, which focuses on project activities and regional development.
There is still room for growth in RDI
Despite the good results, our RDI activities can still improve and grow. For instance, while the number of international projects has increased according to plan, there is still room for more.
The Horizon programme, from which funding is received through competition, helps us to develop networks with European top professionals. Business Finland projects, on the other hand, reinforce our co-operation with companies.